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MDOT Cautions Safety on the Most Dangerous Holiday of the Year


Amidst friends, family and fireworks, Americans join together on the Fourth of July to celebrate the birth of a nation we call home.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) would like to remind holiday travelers to be safe and celebrate Independence Day responsibly, especially when alcohol is involved.

While the Fourth of July is an occasion worth celebrating, copious amounts of drunk and impaired driving has earned it a hazardous reputation. In 2013, Forbes magazine named the Independence Day holiday “the most dangerous holiday of the year.”

According to data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 750 people lost their lives in crashes involving drivers with a BAC of .08 or more during the July 4th holiday period between 2009 and 2013. These fatalities account for 39% percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities over this same five-year period.

Melinda McGrath, MDOT Executive Director, said, “This Fourth of July, you can show your patriotism by helping to make Mississippi roads safer for everyone. Taking a few minutes to plan a safe ride before the celebration begins can help save lives.”

This year, law enforcement in Mississippi is taking part in a crackdown to put an end to drunk driving. Throughout the region, drivers should expect to see local law enforcement out in force, cracking down on drunk driving through increased sobriety checkpoints, roving and saturation patrols, and other enforcement efforts.

To avoid drinking and driving MDOT suggests the following:

  • Plan ahead and choose a designated driver before drinking.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement.
  • If you see someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys from them and help them make other travel arrangements.


Don’t allow yourself or a friend to become a victim of a drunk driving crash. Take precautions this Independence Day, and be sure to celebrate this colorful, family-friendly holiday safely.

For more information about how to celebrate responsibly, visit GoMDOT.com or follow MDOT’s Twitter account, @MississippiDOT.

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